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SUPO Newsletter Red

February 2023

Black History in the Making

President George Grant Jr.

George Grant Jr. was appointed to serve as the fifth president of Saginaw Valley State University, effective January 1, 2023.

Dr. Grant served as chancellor of Pennsylvania State University-Berks, a campus of more than 2,100 students. Prior to that, he spent 24 years at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, including 12 years as dean of the College of Community and Public Service.

Dr. Grant raised more than $46 million during his tenure as dean at Grand Valley. He also developed new academic programming to support adult learners who were juggling work, family, and other demands. Dr. Grant implemented Master of Social Work programs in rural communities across Michigan to give students access to an advanced degree to better serve their communities.

A Detroit native, he welcomes the opportunity to return to his home state and join a university that aligns with his values.

President Grant studied at Wayne County Community College prior to completing a bachelor’s degree in social work at Marygrove College in Detroit. He later completed a master’s degree in social work at Grand Valley State University and a Ph.D. in sociology at Western Michigan University. President Grant also earned a certificate from the Harvard Institute in Educational Management.

Join us in welcoming and celebrating the first African American president of Saginaw Valley State University!

School Leaders

Next School Leader Meeting
February 10, 2023, from 9 am-2 pm via Zoom. The virtual meeting will count for the instructional hours necessary to earn the graduate credit. Zoom LINK.

Look forward to:

  • SUPO office updates
  • Legislative updates from MAPSA by Alicia Urbain
  • Chapters 8-10 presented by Jenna Badgley, Dr. Juan Martinez, and Kate Scheid Weber
  • Leadership Series evaluations

Spotlight Story - Recognizing the Stars on Your Staff

Saginaw Preparatory Academy honors an employee each week. This week it is Mrs. Diener. One way to share the beautiful story of charter education is to show and tell. SPA utilizes their Social Media to show their appreciation for their employees. Praise multiplies in the presence of many. Showing faces and telling others that they are appreciated and valued. That provides both a moment and a model. A moment for both the giver and receiver to pause and reflect. A model of appreciation for students and other employees.

One of the core values of the School/University Partnership Office is transparency. Many times, transparency is thought of school and financial data being available for relevant stakeholders. Transparency can also mean “the quality of allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.” Often, our interventionists, custodians, lunch aides and bus staff work behind the scenes. Allowing a platform for their work and service to be seen helps to shed light on all the good that they bring to our buildings. Thank you Crystal Mills and the leadership team at Saginaw Preparatory Academy for taking time each week to spotlight the good of your employees. For more information about Saginaw Preparatory Academy, visit their website or check out their Facebook page.

Words from Mrs. Diener

I have worked at SPA for 7 years. Outside of work I enjoy Traveling with my family, working out, running, and gardening. What I enjoy most about my job is building positive relationships with the students that I work with and seeing their growth over time. Suggestions for school leaders are I think it's important for school leaders to get to know their staff and to build a positive climate within the building among staff. It's also important to see them in and about the building being involved with students and classrooms. My hope for SPA is that we continue to build the student body, so we have 2 classrooms for each grade level and are able to get and maintain a staff that is highly educated and wants to be here for the long run. This will help us so we can educate these young people for many more years.

Award Nominations Open

Outstanding Employee Award Nominations are open! Nominations due by March 1, 2023. For more information, click here.

News You Can Use

Coffee with Special Education

The next session of Coffee with Special Education is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15 from 3:30–4:30 pm. During this session we will explore different special education service delivery models, FAPE, LRE, and ESY. The link to this session will be shared prior to February 15 via email.

February 2023 Special Education Updates (35KB)


Featured Professional Development - FREE


Audience: K-5 Teachers, 6-8 Teachers, 9-12 Teachers, School Leaders, Specials Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Support Staff


Facilitators will intentionally cultivate a learning environment that engages learners at various levels of knowledge in dialogue, reflection, and listening exercises that lay the building blocks for ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging work in PK-12 education.

Date and Time: Thursday, February 23, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Click here to register for Session 1


New teachers are required to have professional development outside of what all teachers receive. That can be a challenge to manage with limited PD days and class coverage. Allow the SVSU Professional Development Office to provide you with options to target new teachers and develop members of your team that may need additional support. Classes are online and at the pace of the participant. Click the links below for more information. Instructional materials are included in enrollment and will be available online. All courses listed are at least 24 SCECH credits and can be completed between 4-6 weeks. Below are just a few examples of offerings available.

Survival Kit for New Teachers 

Feel a little trepidation before entering your classroom? You're not alone! Whether you're already teaching, a newly credentialed graduate, or a substitute looking to transition to full-time, this course will provide you with proven tools, tips, and tricks to make your early years in the classroom a breeze. An online course approved for SCECHs. $140.00

Substitute Teaching Grades K-12 

Many people choose substitute teaching to further their career or to gain experience working in classrooms and with students. Our Substitute Teaching course breaks down each grade level in sections that discuss what students are learning and possible activities to implement for each curricular area. We also describe ways to create smooth day to day routines, behavior management techniques, and tips for having success as a substitute teacher. An online course approved for SCECHs. $140.00

Creating the Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Success 

Get the training you need to reach the diverse mix of students you face every day. You will learn proven strategies for inclusion that turn diversity into opportunity. With a mix of students who have learning disabilities, neurobiological disorders, and physical challenges, the modern classroom requires an efficient and effective teacher who can prioritize under tight deadlines and be creative on demand. An online course approved for SCECHs. $140.00


Professional Innovators in Teaching is a state-approved Michigan alternative teacher certification program designed to inspire success through innovative real-time coaching and cohort-based instruction. Upon program acceptance, candidates receive an interim teaching certificate and are placed immediately as a classroom teacher. Host schools invest in the development and advancement of each candidate to provide continued support throughout the path to standard teacher certification.


School/University Partnership Office
Office Location: Gilbertson Hall
Phone: (989) 964-4623